11 May 2022
Jay Jay Jegathesan
Jay Jay Jegathesan
A mass murderer talks about his killing spree.
Mark Theo Carter (Jegathesan) has done terrible things. Over the course of five years he killed sixteen people and has now been locked up. From inside an observation room, he describes in detail how he committed his crimes and explains the circumstances that led to the unspeakable deeds from the first victim, all the way to the last one.
Based on A Psychopath by Pete Malicki, this short crime thriller from Australia is certainly memorable. With a duration of approximately nine minutes, it is basically a long monologue by Carter, who is the only character seen. Filmed as one long take, the viewers observe a deranged individual as he analyses his past and vile actions and he, in turn, observes the viewers as he often looks into the camera. The atmosphere is rather chilling throughout as the viewer repeatedly makes eye contact with this serial killer and listens to his unimaginable story. And the sinister music contributes in making this a tense and frightening experience.
As Jegathesan is the only actor here, his performance is vital in order for the film to work and the result is outstanding. From start to finish he dynamically portrays a dangerous and homicidal person and never runs out of steam. Sitting down, with long hair and wearing glasses, he talks about his crimes vividly, as if he is proud of them and he often uses his hands to make his words more dramatic. His character is the heart of the film and he pumps life into it very strongly.
The visuals are quite creative. Radheya Jegatheva provides cinematography that is in black-and-white and looks terrific. Interestingly, there are image techniques similar to Sin City and they include the presence of one other colour, red. Red is widely associated with blood and violence and adding it to this black-and-white film highlights its significance from that perspective as the protagonist's monologue often describes brutal acts. Occasionally, the filmmakers mix live action with animation, which involves the brief appearance of red symbols when Carter says something very dramatic. These animated symbols are accompanied by sound effects and the addition of these two elements make his words more significant.
Movie fans will most likely find the mise-en-scene interesting. The film opens with Carter drawing a picture of Hannibal Lecter, providing clues about his personality. As he speaks and looks into the camera, behind him is a large drawing of several characters from the cult film Reservoir Dogs. The presence of Lecter and the gangsters from the mentioned crime film seem to represent Carter's violent tendencies as they are characters associated with violence. Their presence also helps set up the right atmosphere.
This is an achievement worthy of great praise and admiration. It introduces the audience to a violent and disturbed individual and listening to his story is chilling, primarily due to Jegathesan's performance. A lot of work and creativity was put into this film and the result is an experience that has the viewer's attention from start to finish.